I am writing to you to draw your attention towards a very disrespectful and harsh treatment I received from KLM staff during my journey.
My friends always said good things about KLM and so I thought I will try it. I booked my journey from Bristol (BRS) to Munich (MUC) (stopover in Amsterdam)for 29/07 to 31/07. My booking code was '68CIBG'
My onward journey was really good. Check in was very easy and staff was very friendly, flight was on schedule and it was a pleasant experience. I was impressed.
The issue happened during my return journey. My flight departure was at 31-Jul 17:45 and it was showing as 15 minutes late. But due to poor staff at passport control and then at security, I was late. I reached departure gate at 17:45. I was literally running and out of my breath (I am an asthmatic patient and running doesn't help as it becomes difficult to breathe). When I reached departure gate, there were 2 staff members (1 male and 1 female) and 2 other passengers. (1 male and 1 female). I told them that I was late because of long security queue and passport control so they asked me to calm down (I presume they were worried about my heavy breathing as I was running hard to reach gate) and told me that a representative is coming so they will check if I can still board the flight. (Fair enough)
After 5 minutes, the representative (female) comes and I explain everything to her. She looks at me and asks me if I was British. I said yes then she starts to tell me that I shouldn't be late and etc. I understand and respect that but no one wants to be late by their choice and I was late because there was long queue and less staff at airport. I requested her to let me go as I had a connecting flight from Amsterdam. But she wouldn't listen. She prints new boarding passes and THEN, she lets the other 2 passengers go but NOT ME!!! I am surprised and baffled that others were allowed to go but I wasn't.
This proves that gate was still open and if she wanted, she could have let me go. The only explanation/reason I got was that I was late. But so were other two passengers.!!! Then why were they allowed to go and not me? The only reason I can see is because I am a brown Asian male and other 2 passengers were white people who could speak a foreign language. There was no other difference or reason. If 2 other passengers were allowed to go in front of me, then I should have been allowed to board the plane too. I tried to argue my case but staff refused to listen to me. They simply asked me to go to customer service desk and rebook it. I did not expect this treatment from KLM airlines. The staff was rude, disrespectful, arrogant and racially discriminating. They made me feel uncomfortable, stressed, upset and hurt. This incident was totally unfair, unjustified and racially motivated.
After this, KLM could not provide me other alternative either. So I had to book my ticket with other airlines and pay a very high price. Also, I had to book it to London Heathrow airport and then a connecting bus journey to Bristol.
I had to suffer so much stress and racial discrimination and anxiety due to very bad, harsh and discriminating treatment from KLM staff. I can provide the name of the KLM staff if they want to know.
I hope KLM do not take this lightly and expect KLM to look into this matter "urgently" as I don't want to be treated this way and I want KLM to explore the possibility of compensating me by paying for my extra booking fees and other charges.
Hope to hear back soon.
Thanks and Regards,